Joe Mudele

Dave Holland and Joe Mudele at Ronnie Scotts

A few weeks ago London Jazz News had an entry for our weekly newsletter prize draw for a copy of Dave Holland's album Prism from the 93-year old bassist Joe Mudele, who has inspired many younger players and who was continuing to play his Monday gig in Bexley until just a few months ago.

I discovered that he had played alongside Dave Holland in the 1960's. We withdrew Joe from the prize draw competition, but asked Sony and Ronnie Scott's to see if we could arrange something special. These pictures show Joe receiving his personal copy of the new album at Sunday's show.

For well over six and a half decades, Joe Mudele has been a highly respected and extremely busy bass player, appearing on all manner of TV and radio shows, album sessions, and high profile tours including one with the great songwriter, Hoagy Carmichael.

It is the mark of the man, that he still plays, at the venerable age of 90, with the same vigour and enthusiasm as he did when voted a Melody Maker poll winner back in 1952.

However, it should not be forgotten that it was as a vocalist that he first entered the profession, and it is to that role that he now returns, in this moving and well thought-out album.

Many of these songs have a personal resonance for Joe. He includes a Judy Garland medley- he toured with her as part of Norrie Paramour’s Orchestra in the 1950’s and, in “I Should Care”, scats a Charlie Parker phrase- he sat in with the great altoist in Paris in 1949.

Joe sings pretty much as he is; that is to say, full of the love of life, totally lacking in pretence, and oozing charm. Accompanied by two of the best players around today, he gets right to the essence of these great songs, and through his long experience speaks directly to all of us.

Alan Barnes October 2010

Joe's CD is available from Bexley Jazz Club or by leaving your details on the contacts page.

To listen to a short extract click on the audio player below.